A Berkeley Lab study has shown that just as exposure to gamma radiation transforms Bruce Banner into fictional superhero the Hulk, exposure to alpha-particle radiation can transform thermoelectric materials into far more powerful versions of themselves.
Researchers at Berkeley Lab have conducted the most comprehensive study yet of the full cost of saving electricity by U.S. utility efficiency programs and now have an answer: 4.6 cents. That’s the average total cost of saving a kilowatt-hour in 20 states from 2009 to 2013, according to a new Berkeley Lab report. To arrive at that average, researchers collected and analyzed several hundred regulatory documents filed in each state by utilities and other administrators of efficiency programs that are funded by utility customers.
The U.S. Department of Energy today announced $75 million in funding to renew the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), a DOE Energy Innovation Hub originally established in 2010 with the goal of harnessing solar energy for the production of fuel. JCAP researchers are focused on achieving the major scientific breakthroughs needed to produce liquid transportation fuels from a combination of sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide, using artificial photosynthesis.
A new breakthrough battery—one that has significantly higher energy, lasts longer, and is cheaper and safer—will likely be impossible without a new material discovery. And a new material discovery could take years, if not decades, since trial and error has been the best available approach. But Berkeley Lab scientist Kristin Persson says she can take some of the guesswork out of the discovery process with her Electrolyte Genome.
A collaboration led by Berkeley Lab scientists has established a method to simulate in the lab the soiling and weathering of roofing materials, reproducing in only a few days the solar reflectance of roofing products naturally aged for three years. Now this protocol has been approved by ASTM International as a standard practice for the industry.
Berkeley Lab researchers have discovered a means by which the removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal-fired power plants might one day be done far more efficiently and at far lower costs than today. By appending a diamine molecule to the sponge-like solid materials known as metal-organic-frameworks (MOFs), the researchers were able to more than triple the CO2-scrubbing capacity of the MOFs, while significantly reducing parasitic energy.